LONG BEACH, Calif., Jan. 10 2017 — Saar Danon, M.D., pediatric cardiologist, has been named the medical director of pediatric cardiology and congenital cardiac catheterization at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach.

Dr. Danon is an expert in interventional cardiology, specializing in the use of catheters and devices to treat children and adults with congenital heart disease. Unlike diagnostic cardiac catheterization – used strictly to diagnose a heart problem – interventional cardiac catheterization actually treats or repairs some forms of congenital heart disease, helping many patients avoid heart surgery.  

Dr. Danon specializes in a variety of interventional cardiac catheterizations to treat congenital heart disease in patients of all ages. This includes closure of atrial septal defect (ASD), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and ventricular septal defects (VSD), where a device is used to close a hole which should not be present. He also performs balloon valvuloplasty to improve blood flow through abnormally formed heart valves, as well as angioplasty and stent placement to enlarge narrowed arteries and veins. In some patients, a heart valve can be replaced with the same minimally invasive approach – avoiding a serious open-heart operation.

With the addition of Dr. Danon, the Pediatric Heart Center at Miller Children’s gains access to
cutting-edge technology with the use of 3-D modeling of structural heart disease. By processing images from a computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance image (MRI) or angiogram, Dr. Danon can create a model of a patient’s heart using a 3-D printer.

“3-D heart modeling allows us to physically hold a patient’s heart in our hands, look at the defects and determine a course of action,” explains Dr. Danon. “We can take a device, like a transcatheter valve, and test it into the model – making sure the patient is an ideal candidate for the procedure.”

Dr. Danon joins a team of board-certified specialists at the Pediatric Heart Center, one of only a handful of programs in Southern California to offer comprehensive congenital cardiac care to patients of all ages. The center also has satellite centers in Torrance, Long Beach and Irvine.

“We’re incredibly excited about Dr. Danon joining the Pediatric Heart Center at Miller Children’s,” says Tamra Kaplan, interim Chief Operating Officer, Miller Children’s. “His expertise, along with our current pediatric cardiac care team, will help further advance the care of children and young adults with congenital heart disease.”

As a practicing physician and physician leader, Dr. Danon hopes to further develop the congenital cardiology and catheterization programs at the Pediatric Heart Center. His research focuses on developing new techniques and devices to increase the number of children that can be treated with cardiac catheterization procedures.

Dr. Danon previously spent five years expanding his expertise in interventional cardiac catheterization at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in Saint Louis. For more than three years, he has been active in medical trips to Panama, where he performs transcatheter interventions, provides specialized care and trains local physicians to care for children with congenital heart disease. Dr. Danon completed his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.